Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
It sounds a little silly, but lots of trot work is the key to a good canter.
Try doing lots of circles and serpentines at the trot, encouraging her to bend and balance, making sure you aren't riding a motorcycle through the turns. Also transitions within the trot, and walk to trot transitions will be beneficial.
I, personally, do not canter my mare unless I am confident I will have a good canter. I can tell I will have a good canter because her trot work is balanced and steady. I have never seen the point in asking for a canter you know will be all over the place just to fight at the canter.
When you do canter, make sure you rock back and sit deep in the saddle. Don't accept a rushed transition, just go back to a trot and ask when her trot is nice and steady again. Keep a steady contact and half halt throughout your circle or along the wall, especially before corners. Since her canter is currently so terrible, I wouldn't ask for a lot of canter at first. Keep the first few times short and sweet, making sure to stop when she is feeling balanced and relaxed. Then gradually push her a little further and a little further each ride.
I hope I helped! Good luck!
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